Together, our common goal must be to move forward and to guide, advise, motivate and help, develop and support employees to achieve a human and corporate purpose.
Thanks to the opportunities I had to work in 14 different countries, mostly in Asia, and to support and build well-known, top-notch hotel companies, I find myself where I am today. Along the way, many inspiring people, colleagues, and friends have helped me progress from being an Executive Chef to an EAM, a General Manager, and finally a COO. At the same time, I have always had a strong interest in how digital and AI technologies can be better utilized, and as a result, I have developed various friendships with IT developers.
In May 2021, after exploring the world for 38 years, I returned to Berlin to start my own business, Markus Schneider Solutions (https://markusschneidersolutions.com).
I also became a Co-Founder and Executive Director of ritrovo (https://www.ritrovo.io). My partners and I are committed to building a community of hospitality leaders from around the world who will work with us to design the most important leadership programs to meet our industry’s ever-expanding needs.
Additionally, I am a member of ‘Denkfabrik Zukunft der Gastwelt‘ (https://zukunft-gastwelt.de), and our goal is to actively shape the future of the tourism, hospitality, and foodservice industry as a 360° hospitality world that inspires people. We are working to develop the ecosystem into a major player in the German economy and raise our visibility to a new level.
Finally, I have formed a digital vision partnership consultancy called ‘machmal.digital‘ (https://machmal.digital), where we support the hotel and catering industry in digitalization and prepare them for the future.
However, let’s fast forward to today!
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the service industry, along with many other industries, has experienced significant changes. Companies have had to close, and employees have lost income and jobs. By the autumn of 2020, it had become clear that the pandemic was here to stay and that the hospitality, restaurant, catering, cruise line, airline, and transportation segments would require serious business process transformations.
Before the pandemic, we would check budgets, forecasts, and monthly income statements. We would look at hundreds of pages of numbers to determine whether we were successful or not. However, this changed overnight, as all of the important numbers suddenly turned negative, and most companies had to address hundreds of areas to minimize and stop the downward spiral.
For responsible business leaders and decision-makers who are committed to an organization, simply looking at sales and GOP lines is no longer sufficient. There is tremendous pressure on leaders to make organizational decisions involving fundamental changes that are not consistent with learned traditional beliefs. This is a difficult and almost insurmountable inhibition threshold for most people. There is a huge fear factor around digital technology, and that fear needs to be turned into a competitive advantage that creates interest, competition, engagement, empowerment, and fun across the organization.
The challenge is to find the best digital solutions that can be used and integrated into all guest and non-guest-related areas without creating additional pressure and pain for guests and employees. While the organizational goals remain the same, the digital solutions require a management change and must be in a radically new place, where the relationship between employees and employers is transformed into an organizational commitment philosophy for all employees and part-time workers. This is the only way to fundamentally change the way we value and engage all frontline workers and extract their willingness to their full potential.
From my deep insight, I see it as my obligation, opportunity, and goal to give back my operational, financial, and human knowledge to today’s decision-makers. I want to help them overcome their fear of technology thanks to my extensive experience, which I have been able to collect over decades. Our common goal must be to move forward and to guide, advise, motivate, and help develop and support employees to achieve a human and corporate purpose.